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Old 02-04-2009, 04:19 PM   #21
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This is reminiscent of Army medics slapping a gauze bandage on a flesh wound and wrapping the tape extra tight so that they can get you back into combat before the next quarter's financial results are due troops are slaughtered.

When I was working, even at the Navy's "low stress" submarine training commands, I'd routinely run 145/85 and get threatened with the whole high-BP regime. Today, nearly seven years into ER, my BP is 115/70. There was only one clinically-significant change to contributing factors over that period, and it wasn't salt or medications...

Spouse was usually around 110/70 during her working days, and now she's as low as 95/55.
In my case: retirement led to a decrease in stress, led to less stress eating, led to decrease in weight, led to lower BP, led to some feedback loop of everything getting slowly better.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:32 PM   #22
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From an evolutionary perspective: humans need (and crave) small amounts of fat and salt. They are rare in the diet of hunter-gatherers.
Ever wonder why the Indians out west have sacred salt mines ?
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:56 PM   #23
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It would be uncommon for 1 drink per day to have a major effect on most people's blood pressure, but some are genetically more sensitive than others to the effects.

.
Isn't it difficult to make this conclusion in isolation from other possible factors? For example, if a person is 30 lbs over weight, such as moi, and also somewhat sensitive to all substances (caffeine, alcohol, medications), then it would be more likely that the one glass of wine would have a greater effect than if said person were at normal weight? I know this is speculation but just trying to explain the reason for myself.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:07 PM   #24
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Isn't it difficult to make this conclusion in isolation from other possible factors? For example, if a person is 30 lbs over weight, such as moi, and also somewhat sensitive to all substances (caffeine, alcohol, medications), then it would be more likely that the one glass of wine would have a greater effect than if said person were at normal weight? I know this is speculation but just trying to explain the reason for myself.
Proper studies control for the known variables very rigorously. Of course there may be unknown variables that mess you up, but I think those data are pretty solid, and control for the things you mentioned.

But any individual doesn't necessarily have to fall into the usual pattern.
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:54 PM   #25
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Sarah, no biggie. If this is the worst thing you have to worry about in life you'll be all set. There are other seasonings after all.
That's true!

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What was the blood pressure?
At work it was 168/98. At the doctor's office it was 146/88. Tonight it's 116/80... w00t!! Apparently the BP meds are working, though I have been dizzy, had slight tingling in my hands, awful muscle cramps and feeling generally unwell. Hopefully my body will adjust and these side-effects will lessen...and all will be smooth sailing in short order. I have increased my intake of high-potassium foods (lots of OJ, tomatoes, spinach, etc.) to help ease the muscle cramps.
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:50 PM   #26
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That's true!



At work it was 168/98. At the doctor's office it was 146/88. Tonight it's 116/80... w00t!! Apparently the BP meds are working, though I have been dizzy, had slight tingling in my hands, awful muscle cramps and feeling generally unwell. Hopefully my body will adjust and these side-effects will lessen...and all will be smooth sailing in short order. I have increased my intake of high-potassium foods (lots of OJ, tomatoes, spinach, etc.) to help ease the muscle cramps.
I don't know of course, but aren't "awful muscle cramps" something to take more seriously? Double check the info that came with your meds. Maybe it is just normal acclimation, but that sounds more serious to me. Maybe I'm thinking of something else (like cramps with statins)?

-ERD50
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:58 PM   #27
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The medicine is a diuretic, which causes a high loss of potassium...hence, muscle cramps. I'm calling the doc on Monday to see what he recommends. I have done a lot of interweb sleuthing about the medication and side effects; apparently all my symptoms are quite common.
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:04 AM   #28
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OK, good (well, sort of). BTW, sweet potatoes are also very high in potassium, if that helps. - ERD50
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:10 AM   #29
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also very high in potassium
Bananas. I have eaten a Banana every morning for 35 years.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:03 AM   #30
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Properly chosen and dose-adjusted diuretics commonly given as first line BP meds rarely cause severe hypokalemia. When I see this, it is often a situation where the dose is too high, or a "loop" diuretic like Lasix is given (less effective and more side-effects than standard low dose diuretics like hydrchloorthiazide). Or, the patient has a very poor intake, is overdoing salt, has kidney problems, etc. Rarely, Cushing's disease or other uncommn diagnoses are the cause.

But garden variety hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 to 25mg is safe, effective, and rarely causes side effects. When I trained, the usual dose was 50-100mg a day. OJ, bananas, sweet potatos, green pepper are all great sources of potassium.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:31 AM   #31
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Rich, when you say "the patient has a very poor intake," do you mean fluids/water? I was wondering if the HCTZ 25 mg dose might be adjusted because of my symptoms, though obviously my BP has vastly improved in less than a week. The dizzy/light headed feeling has declined but the hand tingling continues, particularly in my left hand. I'm anxious to talk to my doc tomorrow.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:35 AM   #32
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OK, good (well, sort of). BTW, sweet potatoes are also very high in potassium, if that helps. - ERD50
Yes, I have found that most potatoes (and especially the skins) are good sources of potassium. Of course, I wouldn't eat a sweet potato skin.

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Bananas. I have eaten a Banana every morning for 35 years.
Ah, nanners...the old standby! I'm on banana overload...haha. The first day after having muscle cramps (in my JAW after yawning....ACK!!!) I ate 4 bananas.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:48 PM   #33
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Although I am not on a salt-free diet, I haven't added table salt to my food for many many years. Morton makes a salt substitute made with potassium rather than sodium. I use this when I eat something that I feel really needs salt, like corn-on-the-cob. I think it's quite good.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:30 PM   #34
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I bought some of that Morton's salt substitute today; it's very high in potassium and not too awful.
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:15 AM   #35
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Lots of salt substitues on the market.I use a dash of curry powder or a teaspoon of lemon juice as substitutes.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:30 PM   #36
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An herbal diuretic containing dandelion really works well. I wonder if it would actually lower blood pressure too? Has anyone tried it for BP?
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:00 AM   #37
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An herbal diuretic containing dandelion really works well. I wonder if it would actually lower blood pressure too? Has anyone tried it for BP?
No, but my grandma's recipe for wilted dandelion salad is to die for........
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